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Rocket barrages fired from Lebanon as Hezbollah warns Israel over Aqsa Mosque raids

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire caused by a rocket fired from Lebanon near the northern occupied town of Shlomi.

At least 30 rockets have reportedly been launched from southern Lebanon into the Israeli-occupied territories in retaliation for raids by Israeli forces that stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound overnight and attacked Palestinian worshipers as they were observing the holy month of Ramadan.

According to the Israeli public broadcaster KAN, the projectiles slammed into the Western and Upper Galilee areas in the northern part of the territories, with some causing injuries and damage.

Israel's military said it had "identified 34 rockets that were fired from Lebanese territory into Israeli territory".

"Five rockets landed in Israeli territory," added the military statement that followed the attack, which was not immediately claimed by any group.

Lebanese media reports said the Israeli artillery targeted the towns of al-Qalila and al-Maaliya and the Zabqin region in southern Lebanon.

Lebanese sources also reported the flight of Israeli spy drones at a low altitude over southern Lebanon. 

Meanwhile, the office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that a high-level security cabinet will convene tonight following rocket attacks from Lebanon.

The meeting will come after an assessment Netanyahu is expected to carry out with the regime’s high-ranking military officials.

The cabinet has not met in nearly two months.

The attack marks the largest number of rockets fired from Lebanon since the 33-day war in 2006 between Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement and Israel, during which thousands of rockets were launched at the occupied lands.

In August 2021, Hezbollah also fired 19 rockets at northern Israel.

Earlier on Thursday, Hezbollah said it would support “all measures” Palestinian resistance groups may take against Israel after regime forces violently raided the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds.

“Hezbollah forcefully denounces the assault carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and its attacks on the faithful,” Hezbollah said in a statement.

“Hezbollah proclaims its full solidarity with the Palestinian people and the resistance groups, and pledges that it will stand with them in all measures they take to protect worshipers and al-Aqsa Mosque and to deter the enemy from continuing its attacks,” the statement noted.

The UN, Iran, Turkey and several other countries and bodies have expressed shock and concern about Israeli forces’ incursions into the mosque.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was “shocked and appalled” by images of Israeli security forces beating people at al-Aqsa Mosque, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

Stephane Dujarric said Guterres viewed images of the “violence and beating” within the holy site, and found it more distressing because it came “at a time of a calendar which is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims that should be a time for peace and nonviolence.”

“Places of worship should only be used for peaceful religious observances,” he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian condemned the Israeli desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque, saying that the Israelis are confused by the wave of convergence in the Islamic world.

“The desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces and their night raid on worshipers of the holy site created painful scenes that are the result of the behavior of human rights advocates who turn a blind eye to Zionism’s crimes,” Amir-Abdollahian tweeted on Thursday.

“The Zionists are confused by the wave of convergence in the Muslim world and the prospect of internal collapse,” he added.

The Arab League called on the UN Security Council to intervene to halt Israeli “crimes” at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In a statement issued following an emergency meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, the Arab League condemned Israeli assaults.

“These crimes escalated dangerously in the past days of Ramadan, and led to hundreds of injuries and arrests of worshipers, incursions and deliberate desecration of the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque by extremist Israeli officials and settlers under the protection of the occupation forces,” it said.

The statement rejected “all forms of Israeli violations of Islamic and Christian holy places, especially those aimed at changing the historical and legal status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque.”

On Wednesday, Israeli forces raided the holy site for the second time in a row and tried to evacuate Palestinian worshipers by firing stun grenades and rubber bullets. Worshipers threw objects at the Israeli troops in response.

According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, at least six people were injured in the fresh flare-up.

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